Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: How do 'Lost in the Mail' credits work?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: How do 'Lost in the Mail' credits work?
Date Posted: 11/17/2009 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2006
Posts: 4
Back To Top

I've not posted before but due to a recent situation (and not finding a clear answer in the help docs) am curious about this. I recently requested 2 books from the same member who used PBS DC to mail them to me. When they had left our area sorting facility and still hadn't shown up a week later I called the 800 # for the post office and asked that they be tracked. The helpful USPS cs rep found a notation that they had been received at the sorting facility in 'damaged' condition- the packaging was there but the 2 books were gone. So the post office is looking for the books and may or may not find them eventually (they told me 2-3 weeks but my local office told me this morning there's very little chance they'll ever find them) and meanwhile, enough time has passed that PBS has marked them 'Lost in the Mail'. So here's where I'm fuzzy:

the sender did send them- does s/he get their credits?

when they were marked LitM was I 'refunded' my credits?

if they eventually show up and I mark them received at that time will I then be debited those credits again?

will the sender not get his/her credits until I mark them received? (because they certainly sent them so I don't feel right about them never getting their credits if the post office never finds them)

These are popular books (1 & 2 of Dean Koontz's Frankenstein series) and as book 3 arrived today I'd really like to read them soon *but* I'm not sure how long is reasonable to give the post office to find them and really don't want to lose 4 credits for 2 books by re-requesting them and then having the originals show up as these are readily available in the system and I could be sitting on them for quite a while (this happened to me once before) when I repost. I have a note into the Librarian but thought someone here might have some thoughts or ideas in the meantime?

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,662
Back To Top

the sender did send them- does s/he get their credits?  

YES, but only because they used PBS DC AND the package was scanned. If they didn't use DC, then they would never get the credits.

when they were marked LitM was I 'refunded' my credits?

Yes, You can look in your credit registry and it will show this. If the book was on your Wish List, you also went back to your original position in the WL. If the book was a regular order, it went onto your Reminder List to order again.

if they eventually show up and I mark them received at that time will I then be debited those credits again?

YES, you need to Mark the Books Received if they arrive at your house. The credits will be debited from your account. But, it's not a second credit ... just the first debited out again.

will the sender not get his/her credits until I mark them received? (because they certainly sent them so I don't feel right about them never getting their credits if the post office never finds them)

Yes, that is correct. Please don't feel bad about this. PBS assigns the risk of loss/damage in the mail equally between the sender and receiver. if the book goes LOST, the receiver gets their credit back, and the sender is out the credit (unless they used PBS DC and the book was scanned). If the book is damaged while in transit, the sender gets the credit and the receiver gets stuck with an unpostable book.

Lost books are relatively rare, but when they fall out of the packaging altogether ..... usually (not always, but usually) ... this is due to improper packaging (using scotch tape instead of packing tape, failing to tape the package tightly tot he book; failing to tape all the seams where the book can catch on mailing equipement) ..... its up to the sender to make sure the books are packaged well enough to withstand the rigors of mailing. Sometimes that is impossible, and a well-wrapped package is still mangled by the PO, but I think that is a lot more rare than a badly wrapped package getting caught and mangled.

So, if the sender is out the credit for this rare occurrence, and it is sometimes their fault anyway, hard to see why the requestor should feel bad.

Last question ... PBS recommends that you wait about 2 weeks after books go lost before you re-order. In this case, since you know what has happened ... books are actually missing and not just delayed,  there is really only a small chance that the books you ordered will actually show up, so you are pretty safe to re-order.



Last Edited on: 11/17/09 4:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 11/17/2009 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

PBS recommends that you wait at least 2 wks before reordering lost books. 

Since they used PBS DC the sender already has their credits. You got your credits back when the books went lost.  The fee that people pay to print out DC through PBS covers the credits that PBS has to refund since most books sent arrive at their destination. 

I would probably give it a couple of weeks and then reorder the books.  And yes if they finally show up and you marked them received you will be docked the credits again. Actually they will just take back the credit they refunded when the books went lost.  And you are required to mark them received if they do show up.  Occassionally books show up months after going lost. I would say in this case since you spoke to the post office and the envelope was received damaged (sounds like the books and envelope got seperated at some point)-the books will probably never show up. But you never know.



Last Edited on: 11/17/09 4:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/17/2009 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2006
Posts: 4
Back To Top

Thanks to both of you for clearing this up for me- tomorrow will be 2 weeks since they started looking for them (a little less for since they were marked Lost in the Mail) so I will go ahead and order them then. I've had a couple of books marked LitM that then showed up so I know how to mark them received etc and I have to say- for as much shipping back and forth as I do (not just books but also eBay and my business) I'm always amazed that stuff like this doesn't come up more often! In fact, my son once bought a gameboy game from someone online- after a month we figured the other kid just never got around to sending it but it was under $5 so we weren't that worried. Imagine our surprise 6 months *later* when it showed up and yes, the postmark was for the day the other kid had said he sent it!

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 11/17/2009 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
Back To Top

from the help doc this is the 1 case where you do not have to mark received if recieved.

If the book was declared lost in the mail and you requested a second copy because you thought the first one was really lost:

  • If the postmark was from the week before the book was declared lost (or later!), and you got no notification from the sender that the book would be/was mailed late: you do not have to mark this book received (this is the ONE case in which you don't have to mark a received book received: if a very late mailer without notice caused you to reorder the book and end up with two copies).